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Information for Prospective WBL Panel Members

The WBL is currently running on-campus studies in our newly renovated location in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, Suite 400, to the right of Joe’s Cafe. Due to the University’s COVID restrictions, we are only open to the Penn community.

Participants are paid via Virtual ClinCard at a rate of $12.00/hour for on-campus studies and $3 to $6 for remote studies.

By joining the panel, you are agreeing to maintain the integrity of the research by completing all answers honestly and to the best of your ability. The lab begins a new session every week for on-campus research. Remote studies come sporadically and participants will receive an email when a new session is posted. Please note that you can only participate once in any given session and may not be eligible for all sessions due to the research specifications.

In order to participate in any WBL study you must complete the required tax documentation and have a US social security number.

US citizens must complete Form W-9 available here: W-9 Form

Foreign nationals – Non resident aliens must complete W-8BEN available here: W-8BEN

If you do not have an account yet, please Register to Participate.


Are these studies safe? Will I be exposed to anything harmful?

All of the studies run in the lab are approved by the Office of Regulatory Affairs, the Institutional Review Board. The mission of the IRB is:

  • To promote the rights and welfare of human research participants
  • To facilitate excellence in human research by providing timely and high quality review of human research
  • To provide professional guidance and support to the research community

Do I need to bring a photo I.D.?

Please note, you are required to bring a valid form of photo ID for all sessions. If you do not have one, you must bring another form of photo identification. In addition, any sessions that state “students only” or “Penn affiliated members only” will require the participant to show proper ID (such as a Penncard). ID cards must be current and display an expiration date

How do I change my contact or profile information?

In order to maintain participant consistency and quality of data each user is allowed only one account. If you need to change your email, you may contact or speak with a lab assistant during your next appointment.

How do I contact the WBL?

The quickest and easiest way to contact us is by email,

How much will I get paid for my participation and how do I ensure that I qualify for payment?

Payment is based on the length of the study. Participants qualify for payment if they have submitted a W-8/W9 tax form with a social security number. A participant must submit a tax form to receive payment. Participants are paid via Virtual ClinCard at a rate of $12.00/hour for on-campus studies and $3 to $6 for remote studies

I cannot make my session. What should I do?

We understand that life happens. Please log into your account and cancel your participation. If it is too close to the session start-time to cancel, please email and let us know. Please note that excessive no-shows and/or cancellations will result in account suspension.

What are my responsibilities?

As a participant you must agree to the following responsibilities.

  1. You must have only one account. If you would like to change your email, please alert the lab admin or email Those with multiple accounts will be suspended. Those creating multiple accounts to get around banning or screening will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and will be automatically banned from future participation in the lab.
  2. You must do a given study only once.
  3. You must arrive on time to your appointment. You will be given an unexcused absence if you arrive after we close the doors.
  4. If you accrue three unexcused absences, you will be suspended for eight weeks.
  5. If you cannot make your appointment, you must cancel your scheduled session. Failure to cancel your session will be result in an unexcused absence and possible suspension.
  6. If you are a research assistant for the Wharton Behavioral Lab, you do not qualify for these studies.
  7. Give the experiments complete attention. Users caught cheating, not following instructions, or otherwise not completing their assigned studies will be suspended and prohibited from further participation.
  8. Fill out the W8/W9 accurately. Those falsifying information will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and will be automatically banned from future participation in the lab.

What is the Wharton Behavioral Lab (the WBL)?

The Wharton Behavioral Laboratory (WBL) provides a variety of services that support data collection for behavioral research on business-related topics. The primary goal is to enhance the research productivity of Wharton faculty by minimizing the operational costs, both time and money, of conducting research. The primary services provided are maintaining and updating facilities, substantial participant pools, and efficient staffing for a state-of-the-art experimental research laboratory that will be a shared asset for all faculty and students doing behavioral research. It contributes to Wharton’s reputation for excellence in academic research and enhance our ability to attract and retain the very best scholars.

What should I expect?

The WBL operates at its new location in Steinberg -Dietrich Hall. Members of the WBL panel are mainly Penn students, but also include staff and members of the community. Each session lasts 30 to 60 minutes. During a session panel members may complete questionnaires, participate in online experiments, or interact in groups. Payment for each session is usually $10 cash, but may exceed that amount for studies in which payment depends on performance in some way. Members report that most of the studies are interesting. By joining the panel, however, you are agreeing to do your honest best on every task, regardless of how interesting or boring it is to you personally. Members can only participate once in each session. Each lab begins a new session every week. Most sessions can use all panel members, but some sessions need specific groups (e.g., women only) or must exclude members who have participated in very similar studies in the past.

What type of studies does the WBL run?

The behavioral lab runs a large variety of studies. They vary from simple paper and pencil studies to interactive computer simulations. Since the pandemic, the WBL has temporarily moved to online studies and surveys. While the details of the studies are not available on the website, you will be informed about the type of study and asked to give consent prior to each study.

Where is the Wharton Behavioral Lab?

Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, Ground Floor – Suite 400, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Who can participate?

Participants must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid photo I.D.

Why are studies not showing up on my sessions?

Please be aware that many of our studies need specific types of participants (e.g., females only) and most studies cannot use people who have previously participated in similar studies. Therefore, everyone does not qualify for all studies. It is important to keep your profile updated and accurate at all times to ensure you are being qualified for the proper studies. The information you provide in the Prescreen is what determines eligibility.

Why did I receive an unexcused absence?

Unexcused absences are a result of failing to show up on time or at all. This includes online studies, as it is your responsibility to participate, cancel, or contact us once you’ve reserved your appointment. We are strict about this rule because the participation pool is usually full, and reserving your timeslot means you would be taking a potential appointment from someone else, which can affect our data results.

Will my participation be confidential?

When you sign up for the Behavioral Lab, you will be assigned a lab ID. This will be your identifier for all the studies. This is to ensure that there is no personally identifiable information given to the experimenters. You will always remain anonymous. The W8/W9 that are collected for tax purposes are sent to the university Individual Disbursement Services Office (Franklin Building, 3451 Walnut Street) and none of that information is available or stored digitally.

Lab Location and Directions

Steinberg Hall – Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Note: Suite 400 is on the lower level, to the right of Joe’s Cafe

Wharton Behavioral Lab
Steinberg Hall – Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Email: Wharton Behavioral Lab